Queenstown is known for its summer adventure sports like jet boating, bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, river rafting and mountain bike riding but there is just as much to do in Queenstown in winter as there is in summer.
International skiers and snowboarders flock to the mountains to enjoy the alpine paradise, onlookers come to watch the ski races, multi-sport events and biennial New Zealand Winter Games while others visit to appreciate the natural scenery with day trips to nearby National Parks or to go to the annual Queenstown Winter Festival.
Queenstown Ski Fields
In winter Queenstown is famous for its après-ski culture offering temperatures from 0, or less to 8 degrees from June to October perfect for beginner and experts alike wanting to take to the slopes. Queenstown offers four ski fields of varying terrain and ability with ski runs up to 4km long.
Coronet Peak, the closest mountain to Queenstown, makes learning to ski fun and easy with novice areas away from the main trails and magnificent views for the more experienced skiers at the top of the mountain. They are also the only New Zealand ski field to offer weekend night skiing loved by the whole family.
The Remarkables Ski Area offers north facing slopes, fantastic learning facilities and three terrain parks plus a tubing park.
Cardrona Alpine Resort offers the most reliable snow conditions in the region due to its high elevation. Experts love the secret powder stashes, chutes and cliff drops plus the extensive terrain park facilities with four terrain parks, two half pipes and a gravity-cross course.
The furthest mountain from Queenstown, Treblecone, welcomes all snow lovers regardless of ability with long uncrowded slopes, legendary off piste terrain and unrivalled views.
Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park
Mount Aspiring National Park is a bushwalkers dream with a variety of long and short walks through mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. One of the most popular walks through Mount Aspiring National Park is the 30 minute Blue Pools Walk that will lead you through silver beech, tahina forest and over a swinging bridge to a viewing platform with magnificent views over crystal clear pools at the mouth of the Blue River.
Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site that includes the famous Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. The park contains three of New Zealand’s great walks – the Milford Track with the tallest waterfall in New Zealand, Kepler Track with glacier-carved valleys and Routeburn Track that links to Mount Aspiring National Park. Choose to see the parks by taking a scenic flight, hiring a kayak or hiking with or without a qualified guide.
American Express Queenstown Winter Festival
The annual award-winning American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, that started in 1975, attracts thousands of visitors with its 10 day action packed program. The festival celebrates the arrival of winter in Queenstown with over 60 events, some free, including the opening party with Fireworks, Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, the Pig and Whistle Festival Challenge, Skycity Street Performers, Mountain Bikes on Snow, Mayhem Mountain, Ice Hockey games plus comedy shows, markets and much, much more.
It’s highly recommended to book your accommodation in Queenstown and event tickets early so you don’t miss out.
Accommodation in Queenstown
A comfortable hotel is a must when staying in Queenstown so that you can rejuvenate between activities. Nugget Point, an Ascend Collection Hotel Member is a unique hidden gem just 6km from the heart of Queenstown. The secluded hotel offers a variety of rooms with amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
The accommodation in Queenstown also has a restaurant, heated pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, gym, massage therapist, movie theatre, a squash court and free wireless high speed internet access at the hotel.